The MLC Learners Guide is a collection of curricula and learning resources to empower movement learning for systemic change. It is composed of four distinct and complementary parts, each part could be considered as a standalone curriculum or in combination with other parts to support your learning and design contextualised pathways through the curricula.

You will be able to select among several modules with a total of 25+ modules, each module may have one or more learning activities, learning resources and references which could be used to put the curriculum in practice. There are a total of 50+ learning activities and 50+ learning resources, and 150+ references to choose from.

At the heart of this guide is an understanding that the diverse range of social movements are to be understood as an ecology of social movements with different interconnected actors across issues, strategies, geographical, cultural, and ideological boundaries.

What you will find in the learners guide:

  • Content to question our assumptions about how change works, and expand our thinking of strategies in new ways that take into account the diversity of strategic approaches and the responsiveness to the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.
  • Resources to explore the dynamic interplay between local and global struggles and how to organize transnationally and trans locally in the broader fabric of resistance.
  • Tool to reflect and learn from our experience in movements, draw on popular education to create spaces for learning and knowledge production in movements.

Why a Learners Guide?

We’re living at a historical point of disruption which contains both great peril and promise. The stalled engine of neoliberal growth, bankrupted political leadership, deepening inequalities in wealth and power, ongoing racist and patriarchal violence, and the fierce urgency of the ecological now delimit the terrain upon which we need to contest our future. Against a backdrop of a rising far right, big data, and the ongoing consolidation of unaccountable power by elite groups, we have a lot to do to contest our future. Now is the time for something new to emerge.

In this context, we aim to build movements with the power and scale to organize for systemic change. Between 2021 and 2023, we have been engaging activists and organisers involved with more than 100 organisations, groups and movements across Europe in research, education and consultation processes with the aim to identify the key challenges their movements and organisations were facing and the learning needs they may have to become more effective in build power and scale in their movements.

Transversal Organizing and the Ecology of Social Movements

This part discusses the importance of building powerful alliances within the “ecology of social movements” to address global challenges such as the rise of authoritarianism, climate collapse, and increasing inequality. It emphasizes the strength in diversity and the need for transversal organizing across various social and organizational differences.

Transnational and Translocal organizing: Organising Across Borders

This part explores the concepts of transnationalism and translocalism, challenging learners to reimagine organizing beyond the nation-states. Emphasising global solidarity, it traces the heritage of social movements and confronts borders, advocating for collaborative efforts to dismantle globally interlocked systems of oppression.

Strategy and Movements

This part explores strategy and movements practices essential for navigating and influencing social movements effectively. From the foundational stones of strategy understanding, vision articulation, and contextual awareness, it builds up to dissect the intricate dynamics of power, the persistence of hegemony, and the guiding principles derived from the study of complex living systems.

Popular Education and Movement Learning

This part delves into the rich, layered processes of movement learning and popular education, emphasizing the transformative power of activist knowledge production and sharing. The series explores the history, principles, and practices of radical popular education, drawing heavily on Paulo Freire’s work to emphasize dialogue, critical reflection, and the political commitment to emancipation.

Notes on Pedagogy

The MLC educator’s guide aims to support educators to use and contextualise MLC learning resources to their group and organisations. It presents the pedagogical principles and practices for transformative learning of the MLC drawing from radical popular education, particularly Paulo Freire’s work.